Hyundai has officially launched its funky new Venue, the smallest compact SUV in its line-up. And, it's ready to rival the Volkswagen T-Cross head on, along with Ford's EcoSport, Honda BR-V and the Renault Capur to name a few.
The Korean automaker tallies good numbers every month, according to Naamsa, and November proved no different with 2367 passenger cars sold, with good numbers across their range.
Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa, says: "The Venue is an exceptional small SUV that offers a powerful and very efficient turbocharged engine, outstanding comfort and convenience levels and many safety features."
Expanding the family
"We enter this very competitive market segment with great confidence in the Venue. Our Creta mid-sized SUV has proven how good design, quality build and practical features can draw new and existing Hyundai customers to our brand. The Venue, our new small SUV, is expected to repeat that outstanding performance," Anderson adds.
Wheels24's Janine Van der Post says: "When Volkswagen launched its Polo-SUV, the T-Cross, just a couple of months ago, it has taken off like a duck to water. Rave reviews all around, with the appeal to make any new car-owner have the desire to own one.
"That 1.0-litre 85kW model unleashed at launch is something special and I thought it would stay on top of its game for quite some time. But Hyundai was ready to rain on VW's parade, and with good reason.
"A couple of weeks ago Hyundai parked a few trailer-board ads below T-Cross billboards with a cheeky message revealing a small section of its own baby SUV with the message 'Don't cross your T's just yet'. We all thought it was hella-arrogant.
"Fast forward a month later to the international media launch held in Cape Town of the new Venue SUV and the brand had every right to be that hubristic.
What a name
"While the Venue certainly looks the part of a modern Hyundai product, has a good build quality, and comes loaded with tech, and standard features, it also has quite a competitive engine, one that will really take on its rivals head-on. With that said, the rear is quite reminiscent of the new T-Cross, and even a bit of the Suzuki Ignis.
The name too isn't very convincing, and highly debatable, but Hyundai designers at the launch tried to convince the tough crowd that it's supposed to a representation of a special place.
"The Venue comes in three guises: Motion, Fluid, and Glide (auto only), and all are only available with a one-litre engine in either manual or auto versions.
"The 1.0-litre unit delivers 88kW and 172Nm but feels and performs like something bigger and more powerful. It's agile ad feisty off the line, and certainly has the bold confidence to match its assertive looks. It can only do well in the local market.
"It's going to be very interesting to see if the Venue will affect Creta sales since the brand's newly-introduced Atos hardly made any dents in Grand i10 sales at its recent launch. The Venue is now the smallest compact SUV in the local line-up and is significantly more affordable than the entry-level Creta. The latter sold 416 units in November while the Tucson found 304 new homes. The automaker now has an SUV for every need.
"With a starting price of only R274 900 for a good, value-for-money vehicle, it's going to be a very interesting battle to watch from the sidelines. Volkswagen has very loyal customer base, and the trustworthy reputation will always be the German automaker's trump cards. Their T-Cross sales took off with a whopping 800-odd in their first month of sales, and another 842 in November, so Hyundai has to bring it's A-game if its going to challenge this model."
The Motion comes with 15-inch steel wheels while 16-inch alloy wheels come standard on Fluid and Glide versions. Its appearance is enhanced with optional premium LED headlights with LED daylight running lights for the Glide version, as well as fog lights.
The driver is given the taste of premium with a leather-wrapped multi-functional steering wheel which is then complimented by either a 3.8-inch mono LCD display or an 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen system and rearview monitor for the Venue Fluid and Glide versions. The latter includes includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
Value for money
Additional features include dual USB ports, a 3.5-inch TFT instrument cluster, glovebox cooling and automatic cruise control.
Safety is of top priority no matter the car. From its 6 airbags, the SUV also features ABS, ESC, EBD, Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist Control as standard. Isofix child seat attachments and seatbelt pre-tensioners with force limiters are offered as well.
Fuel saving has become the most nailed-down requirement for motorists and the Venue does not disappoint. Fuel consumption comes in at 6.5-litres/100km/h for the manual and 6.9-litres/100km/h for the faster shifting DCT.
It's three-cylinder turbocharged Kappa 1.0 T-GDI engine delivers 88kW and 172Nm. Customers can choose between a six-speed manual transmission, seven-speed automatic dual clutch transmission (DCT). The top-of-range Glide derivative only uses the DCT transmission.
Buyers can choose from a range of two-tone colour schemes. A contrasting roof is offered with two exterior colors – polar white with phantom black, and lava orange with phantom black while the one-tone body will be available in Phantom Black, Star Dust, Denim Blue, Typhoon Silver and Fiery Red.
Included are Hyundai’s groundbreaking 7-year or 200 000km warranty, 7-year or 150 000km roadside assistance, and a 3-year or 45 000km service plan.
Compiled by: Robin Classen